MSNBC failed to disclose the close affiliation between one of its guests, former Iowa-based radio host Steve Deace, and the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), during a segment on the 2016 election, despite Deace's endorsement of Cruz and his appearances at campaign events for Cruz in Iowa.
The October 8 News Nation segment started by discussing comments by Rupert Murdoch, the executive co-chair of Fox News' parent company, 21st Century Fox, about President Obama. Deace was asked whether he thought a tweet Murdoch recently posted -- that candidate Ben Carson would be a "real black President" as compared to Obama -- would affect the presidential race and Carson's campaign. Deace's response was to rebuke Fox News for attempting to steer the GOP nomination process. Deace said Fox News did not approve of Ben Carson or Ted Cruz, who are both "killing it organizationally" around the country. When Deace was asked about Donald Trump's lead in Iowa polls, he rejected the validity of the polling and said,"If the [Iowa] Caucuses were today, Ben Carson or Ted Cruz would win."
However, during the segment neither Deace nor the MSNBC host disclosed that Deace has close ties to Cruz: he publicly endorsed the senator in August and volunteered for his campaign on the ground in Iowa by appearing at an opening of a new campaign office. Also, according to Deace himself, he was in discussions to help Cruz as far back as August, 2013. In fact, The Des Moines Register reported in March that "Deace served as an informal, unpaid consultant" to Cruz's campaign prior to endorsing him.
Deace has made several appearances on MSNBC, despite the fact that he has mocked the network in commentary pieces for conservative newspapers and blogs. On his radio show, which ended its broadcast deal with USA Radio Network in September, and in his written commentary, Deace is considerably more divisive and partisan than when he is appearing on mainstream media outlets like MSNBC.
From the May 12 edition of MSNBC's NewsNation:
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MSNBC hosted a spokeswoman from a notorious anti-gay hate group twice in one day to discuss controversial "religious freedom" legislation, failing to identify her as an extremist who has opposed the decriminalization of gay sex.
On April 1, American Family Association (AFA) spokeswoman Sandy Rios appeared twice on MSNBC during segments discussing a number of controversial "religious freedom" laws being debated in state legislatures. The AFA has been labeled an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its history of anti-gay extremism, including blaming gay men for the Holocaust and supporting the criminalization of homosexuality.
Rios herself is an anti-gay extremist who has denied that homophobia motivated Matthew Shepard's murder, opposed a Supreme Court decision decriminalizing gay sex, believes people can choose to "stop being gay," and has stated that being gay is "broken hearts, it's disease."
Rios appeared on NewsNation with Tamron Hall to defend Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), where she falsely claimed that RFRAs weren't intended to allow for anti-LGBT discrimination:
From the January 15 edition of MSNBC's News Nation with Tamron Hall:
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On MSNBC, a transgender student described the pain caused by right-wing misinformation about a policy that could allow athletes to participate on the team that corresponds with their gender identity.
During the October 2 edition of MSNBC's NewsNation with Tamron Hall, guest host Richard Lui led a segment on the Minnesota State High School League's consideration of a proposed participation policy for transgender student athletes. The proposal, which has since been temporarily tabled, would potentially allow student athletes to play on the sports team that matches their gender identity.
The segment featured OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Monica Meyer and Zeam Porter, a transgender student athlete who delivered an emotional speech during a public hearing about the proposal. When asked about the hearing, Porter described the difficulty of being exposed to misinformation about transgender students, including a misleading, transphobic ad published in Minnesota's Star Tribune:
PORTER: It was really hard to be in that space. I took away that there are a lot of people who purposely give misinformation and don't value me as a human, much less as a student or as an athlete... Being in that space yesterday was really hard.
PORTER: Other trans students have come to me and said that "I feel scared to pick up a newspaper now because I'm scared of seeing harassment. I'm scared of seeing discrimination. It's like I can't escape it, not on the court, not in the classroom, not even reading a newspaper I can't escape this discrimination. I can't escape misinformation and lies told about me." So it was really hard to hear that from other students because I'm not the only one going through this.
From the May 11 edition of MSNBC's News Nation with Tamron Hall:
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